The Difference Between the Cloud and Virtualization Services

The virtualization is often confused with cloud and is differentiated from IaaS perspective. Though virtualization is one of the important technologies that makes the cloud technology work, virtualization software provides a physical server to run several different computing environments whereas cloud virtually partition the server enabling customers to use virtual instances of the same software. Thus, virtualization enables cloud computing, but cloud technology has greater capabilities in offering complex applications and computing technologies through the internet. However, both virtualization and cloud reduce the spend on IT infrastructure to the minimum.

Key difference

Virtualization – Virtualization allows organizations to increase the infrastructure efficiency with fewer servers. It allows more fruitful utilization of the available capacity than a non-virtualized server. Each virtualized environment allows to run different OS and application as per the business needs. When organizations opt for virtualization, it requires less servers and storage hardware and it helps in massive cost reduction.

Cloud – Cloud offering relies on usage of the application over the internet and usually opted as a subscription model which offers organizations to incur OPEX on IT infrastructure rather than CAPEX investments. Cloud technologies have been majorly successful for the SMBs where they don’t need to build networks on their own.

While both virtualization and cloud aim at multiple utilization of the server or storage space, the operating fundamentals are different. Virtualization can support many applications for a customer through a single server, the cloud technology allows different companies to use a specific application in the server. Cloud has varied capability in its offering with SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS with deployment models of public, private, and hybrid. In virtualization, it’s the software layer that enables the use of several virtual servers for one server, and when the virtual resources are allocated into centralized pools they can be converted into cloud. The automation and orchestration technologies make companies realize cloud computing to run in an intranet or internet access.

– Swarup Bhowal,
Research Analyst – ICT,
Infoholic Research